Origin of human chromosome 2 revisited

Rea V. Samonte, K. H. Ramesh, Ram S. Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Similarities in chromosome banding patterns and homologies in DNA sequence between chromosomes of the great apes and humans have suggested that human chromosome 2 originated through the fusion of two ancestral ape chromosomes. A lot of work has been directed at understanding the nature and mechanism of this fusion. The recent availability of the human chromosome-2-specific alpha satellite DNA probe D2Z and the human chromosome-2p-specific subtelomeric DNA probe D2S445 prompted us to attempt cross-hybridization with chromosomes of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) to search for equivalent locations in the great apes and to comment on the origin of human chromosome 2. The probes gave different results. No hybridization to the chromosome-2-specific alpha satellite DNA probe was observed on the presumed homologous great ape chromosomes using both high-stringency and low-stringency post-hybridization washes, whereas the subtelomeric-DNA probe specific for chromosome 2p hybridized to telomeric sites of the short arm of chromosome 12 of all three great apes. These observations suggest an evolutionary difference in the number of alpha satellite DNA repeat units in the equivalent ape chromosomes presumably involved in the chromosome fusion. Nevertheless, complete conservation of DNA sequence of the subtelomeric repeat sequence D2S445 in the ape chromosomes is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1998


  • Alpha satellite DNA
  • Chimpanzee
  • Gorilla
  • Human chromosome 2
  • Orangutan
  • Subtelomeric repeat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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